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20 High School Internships in Philadelphia in 2024

What’s Covered:


Internships have become an increasingly popular extracurricular activity for high school students. They allow high schoolers to gain hands-on experience, explore career paths, and build real-world skills. Internships also look great on college applications.


Home to world-class research institutions, leading medical centers, and numerous cultural sites, Philadelphia offers a plethora of internship opportunities to interested high schoolers. 


20 High School Internships in Philadelphia 


1. Monell Science Apprenticeship Program


Application Deadline: January 15

Duration: 8 weeks (June 18– August 16)


Application Deadline: January 15

Duration: 8 weeks (June 18 – August 16)


The Monell Science Apprenticeship Program aims to increase student interest in biomedical science and medicine careers—particularly within groups typically underrepresented in science, including females, ethnic or racial minorities, and the economically disadvantaged.


Through this full-time paid opportunity, participants will work 35 hours a week doing structured research activity under the guidance of Monell scientists. The program culminates in a conference where students will present their research to the scientific community, family, and friends. The program also includes an enrichment component through which participants attend lectures on topics ranging from science to communication to college readiness.


The program is open to high school students and undergraduates interested in science and research from the Philadelphia area.


2. CHOP Research Internship for Scholars and Emerging Scientists (CHOP-RISES)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Two summers (six weeks in the first summer, eight weeks in the second)


This intensive internship program, hosted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is held for two consecutive summers, before participants’ junior and senior years. The program’s goal is to transform students from “science curious” to “science confident.” The program is particularly focused on students from backgrounds typically underrepresented in research. 


Over the program’s two years, interns build science skills, gain a deeper understanding of potential careers in STEM and medicine, and develop a professional network. Stipends, travel awards, and daily lunch are provided to participants.


Students cannot apply directly to the CHOP-RISES program. Instead, they must be nominated by partner schools and community-based agencies.


3. Fox Chase Cancer Center Teen Research Internship Program (TRIP) 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A


This free summer program held at Temple University provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on research and lab experience. Participants are tasked with developing hypotheses, designing and troubleshooting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and presenting their findings. The program culminates in a symposium where students show their research to faculty, family, and alumni. 


The TRIP program is open to high schoolers from Philadelphia and surrounding communities.


4. Thomas Jefferson University Nursing Summer Training and Enrichment Program (STEP-UP)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Two weeks  


This free program allows high school juniors and seniors to explore the nursing profession and its numerous areas of specialization. The program’s hybrid model combines in-person experiences at the Jefferson College of Nursing and field trips with online enrichment activities like SAT prep and personal development workshops.


5. The Wistar Institute High School Program in Biomedical Research


Application Deadline:  March 31 

Duration: Four weeks (July 15 – August 8)


The Wistar Institute High School Program in Biomedical Research gives students interested in science the chance to learn the best practices for biomedical research, explore career paths in the field, and contribute to science projects. Over the course of the four-week program, students will work Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Participants are awarded a $1,000 stipend at the program’s conclusion. 


The program is open to students 16 years of age and older who’ve completed at least one high school science course. Preference is given to students enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia.


6. UPenn Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program (SMP)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Four weeks (July 8 – August 2) 


This four-week program aimed at first-generation and underrepresented students helps them prepare for both college and their future careers. Participants have the chance to complete an internship in one of Penn’s professional schools—Dental, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Nursing. Students also engage in enrichment activities focused on topics like standardized test preparation, personal growth, professional development, financial literacy, and wellness. 


The program is open to rising 10th and 11th graders from Philadelphia and its surrounding area high schools. SMP is a free program.


7. Penn Summer Science Initiative (PSSI)


Application Deadline: March 1 

Duration: Four weeks (July 8 – August 1)


UPenn’s Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter sponsors this four-week program for students interested in material science and engineering, which is both free and prestigious—only 24 to 28 students are chosen to participate annually. Program participants will listen to lectures, enjoy hands-on computer and experimental labs, and take field trips to industrial and Penn facilities.


PSSI is open to high schoolers entering their junior or senior year from the greater Philadelphia region who have taken a chemistry and/or physics course. Students from groups underrepresented in science are especially encouraged to apply.


8. Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI)


Application Deadline: April 5

Duration: Seven weeks (June 24 – August 9)


FMI is a free seven-week program that introduces high school students to the forensic techniques and instruments used to solve crimes. Students will gain hands-on experience with analyzing evidence from crime scenes and conducting their own investigation under the mentorship of forensic experts. The program concludes with presentation day, where students sit as expert witnesses in a trial setting—friends and family are invited to watch.


The program is open to high school students 16 years of age and older who have completed algebra and either biology or chemistry.


9. SMASH Academy


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: One year  


This free residential summer college preparatory program takes place over the course of a year, during which students build computer science skills and explore potential career paths. The program is for students who have just finished 10th grade, and supports them throughout their high school and college admissions journey. College support, professional development, and paid internships are available to alumni.


SMASH Academy operates in a handful of cities in the U.S., including Philadelphia. The program is open to students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Target applicants for the program are students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, students from low-income families, and students who will be the first in their family to attend college.


10. Bloomberg Arts Internship Summer (BAI)


Application Deadline: February 28

Duration: Eight weeks (June 19 – August 16) 


Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance are working together to provide this paid, art-focused internship. The program places rising high school seniors in positions at arts and culture organizations across the Greater Philadelphia region, such as the Penn Museum. Interns are paid $17.53 per hour and provided benefits like transportation and meals.


11. Bloomberg Arts Internship School Year (BAISY)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A


This paid internship program for rising high school seniors runs the length of the school year. Interns work up to eight hours a week at arts and culture organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Interns also participate in professional development opportunities focused on college and/or career readiness, self-advocacy, self-actualization, and public speaking. 


Note that you cannot apply directly to this program. You must first complete the Bloomberg Arts Internship during the summer, and then be selected to participate in the school year program.


12. Elmwood Park Zoo Education Volunteer Program


Application Deadline: Rolling

Duration: 80 hours 


High schoolers ages 14+ can volunteer at the Elmwood Park Zoo, where they engage with visitors and share knowledge about the animals who call the zoo home. Volunteers are asked to commit to working eight hours a month (except during January and February), and a total of 80 hours over the course of the year.


While this position is unpaid, there are some perks to volunteering, including access to volunteer workshops, free guest passes, and discounts throughout the zoo. It’s also a great opportunity to gain experience and explore animal-related career paths.


13. Philadelphia Zoo Volunteer Ambassador


Application Deadline: Rolling

Duration: One year


The Philadelphia Zoo also offers volunteer opportunities for high schoolers 14 years of age and older. These options are a fun way to explore zoo-related careers! Volunteer ambassadors are asked to commit to 50 hours of service annually—after spending 20 hours assisting guests and completing additional training, volunteers can expand the areas in which they work.


14. Congressman Dwight Evans’s Congressional Youth Cabinet


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A


Congressman Dwight Evans, who represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District—which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, and Center City Philadelphia—puts together a non-partisan cabinet of high school students from his district. Participants will learn about government, policy, and public service. 


15. URBN Inc. Internship


Application Deadline: November 3

Duration: Ten weeks (June 3 – August 9) 


URBN Inc., the company that owns well-known brands like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People, offers a ten-week paid internship based primarily in their home office in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Interns work in an area of the business that interests them, take part in special events and off-site field trips, and gain a close-up look at the fast-paced environment of retail.


16. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine PCOM Opportunities Academy


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: One week (June 24 – 28)


While not an internship per se, this free opportunity provided by the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in STEM and careers in healthcare. Students will participate in clinical skills simulations, anatomy labs, and CPR training. They will also build up their intangible skills, like leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.


This opportunity is aimed at students who identify as African American, Black, Hispanic, and Latinx.


17. Walnut Street Theatre


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Varies depending on position


The historic Walnut Theatre—the oldest operating theater in the U.S., founded in 1809—has a number of apprenticeships available to students in fields ranging from acting to production management to technical direction. Participants gain real-world experience, work alongside professionals, and receive an intensive education in theater operation.


Apprentices receive a $500 weekly stipend.


18. Mayor’s Internship Program


Application Deadline: February 18

Duration: Ten weeks (June 10 – August 16)


This ten-week summer internship primarily accepts undergraduates and community college students, but will occasionally consider recent high school graduates. Interns are assigned to one of more than 40 city agencies where they assist with research, administrative duties, and support work.


Interns are paid $15 per hour and are expected to work between 25 and 37.5 hours a week depending on their assignment.


19. Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)


Application Deadline: Application for the following year opens on August 1st

Duration: Eight weeks


This program provides rising 10th through 12th graders who are at least 16 with the chance to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory, like the Philadelphia Naval Surface Warfare Center and Pacific Naval Information Warfare Center in Philadelphia.


Participants learn about Naval research and technology while receiving mentoring from top scientists and engineers. The program is only open to U.S. citizens and all interns receive a stipend—$4,000 for new interns, and $4,500 for returning interns.


20. Bank of America Student Leaders


Application Deadline: January 17

Duration: Eight weeks


The Bank of America Student Leaders program is available to high schoolers in over 100 communities nationwide, including Philadelphia. Through this program, students are paired with paid internship opportunities at nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity, where they gain valuable skills and drive change within their communities.


The internship runs for eight weeks, the last of which is spent at the Student Leader Summit in Washington, D.C., where participants will learn how the government, business, and nonprofit sectors work together to address community needs. The program covers the cost of attending this Summit.


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Extracurricular activities like internships can play a significant role in college admissions, especially at selective schools where seemingly every applicant has an outstanding academic record. That said, not all internships are created equal, and some will have more of an impact on college odds than others.


The four tiers of extracurricular activities provide a good guideline for understanding the influence internships will have on college admissions. The most prestigious, impressive, and rare internships, like PSSI or CHOP-RISES, are placed in Tiers 1 and 2 and have a substantial effect on college odds. Conversely, more common and less attention-grabbing internships, like volunteering at the Philadelphia Zoo, are placed in Tiers 3 and 4 and carry less sway with admissions officials. 


CollegeVine can help add further clarity to your odds of getting into college. Our free chancing calculator uses factors like academics, demographics, and extracurriculars (like internships) to estimate your odds at over 1,500 colleges and universities nationwide.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.